4 Nov 2008

Husserl Ideas I §47

by Corry Shores
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Although the previous text-material might suggest that we normally base intuitionally-given things in the "truth of physics," Husserl proposes instead that our intuited world be the ultimate one, with no physical world standing behind it. Physical things as intuitions are “presented as intentional unities persisting continuously in multiplicities of appearances” (§47 105b-d).

Physical things are what they are only insofar as we experience them: “it is experience alone that prescribes their sense” (106a).

But if we can consider our experiences eidetically and thereby discern essential possibilities and necessities, we can thus eidetically trace variants to our experiences. The result is that, although we experience the actual world in our factual experience, it is only one of many possible variant worlds correlating to our experiencing consciousness (106bc). Hence the physical thing does not transcend our consciousness or exist in itself independently (106c).

Thus any object existing in itself must pertain to consciousness. The necessary experienceableness of something is not merely a logical possibility, but a possibility brought about by the course of consciousness (106-107). If a real object is possibly experienceable, but is not yet experienced, then it must already belong on the horizon of our actual experiences at a certain time (107bc). And, “any actual experience points beyond itself to possible experiences which, in turn, point to new possible experiences and so ad infinitum" (107c).

Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book. General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology. Transl. Fred Kersten. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1982.

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